Prelude VIII

Tooth update: Thanks for all your good wishes. It looks like it was an abscess, and yesterday that little bugger burs … lets just say it was disgusting, and leave it at that shall we? The antibiotics continue to do their job and the prospect of jaw-achingly painful dental surgery no longer looms overhead.

-oOo-

(My seven previous adventures into other Realms of Awareness can be read in sequence on their own page, ‘Prelude’ just up there on the header, or you can catch up on individual episodes over to the right in the ‘Topics’ section, under ‘Prelude’)

-oOo-

I’d come to terms with the less-than-salubrious aspects of University life and started to enjoy stretching myself academically. It certainly was something, as a high-school dropout, I’d never envisaged for myself.

My Journey work consistently blew my little cotton socks off every week. Learning about aspects of my Self and my abilities opened me up to worlds beyond my wildest imaginings.

But … my home life was ripping me apart. Sometimes relationships end painlessly, (relativelyand sometimes, they don’t. Sometimes there’s evisceration and misery. Lots of misery.

My first ever full-on, flat-out, moving-in-together, long-term relationship was done, finished, kaput. We were at the messy, ugly, and never-ending, cutting-up-the-corpse-and-getting-rid-of-the carcass, stage.

-oOo-

Part of my ritual before setting out on a Journey was to connect with the energy of the Earth and use it to center and ground my physical, emotional, and intellectual bodies, and to give my Power Centers, (Chakras in some spiritual traditions) a bit of an invigorating, ‘out with the old and in with the new’ energy burst.

These energies usually manifested in a wondrous mix of colours and images, but that afternoon my ex and I had a huge blow-up, and in celebration of that singular event, black tar covered everything, and no-one wanted to come out and play in my technicolour journey-scape.

With an, ‘Oh bother’, and a ‘Bah-humbug.’ (I may have used slightly stronger phrases) I got on with it.

I traveled through time and space to a lake high in the mountains, a vividly blue lake, the blue of mountain air, winter, and cloudless skies.

In the middle of the lake was an island,(for any newcomers to my blog who don’t already know, for the last six years I’ve lived on an island in the middle of a lake. How cool is that?) and in the middle of the island, towering over everything, stood a very active volcano, reputed to be a summer home of the Goddesses of Volcanoes, Chantico and Pele.

I needed find out, quickly, what season I’d landed in, because if those two were vacationing nearby, this little black duck (Daffy Duck reference) was gonna get outta Dodge, pronto!

In the meantime, my destination came into being around me. I stood in a little vale nestled between two spurs of cooled lava flows. In a glade near the center of the valley a group of women were dancing a Spiral Dance. (There’s a video at the end of this post that gives you a better idea of what a Spiral dance is than my favourite go-to resource, Wikipedia, can)

The women invited me to join them but I really didn’t feel like it. My black mood from the fight with my ex, and my tarred Power Centers, clung to me like a bitter miasma.

I considered leaving and calling the whole Journey off when the ground gave a little shake. Pele and Chantico obviously had other ideas. I sat my glum self down on a nearby log and wondered what I was in for.

The two of them got the whole volcano a-rumbling and a-grumbling for a while but then everything went quiet and still.

I held my breath.

A single CRACK! snapped through the air like a gunshot. Then another, and another.  A breach formed high up on the rim of the volcano. A narrow fissure gnawed its way down the mountainside, through the vale, through the glade, and stopped right in front of my feet.

“What?” I said, as it nudged my toes. “I’m not moving! Go around.”

“Sooner or later you’re going to have to deal with this, so it may as well be now.” Pele/Chantico, now joined in a single entity, answered.

 “I’ve already battled once today. I don’t want to do another one.”

She seemed to consider my stance for a few moments, then the fissure zipped back up the volcano, and all was it had been.

“That was easy,” I commented to no-one in particular.

Hah!

I looked up at the rim and there was Pele/Chantico,waiting for me.

“Well, fine,” I muttered under my breath, and I set off, one foot after the other, up the side of the damned volcano.

My path through the glade soon came to an end and the only way up that I could see was along a very steep, boulder riddled, creek bed with shallow rills of water burbling and skipping down it. I lost count of how many times I slipped and fell on the rocks. I cut myself so often the water began to run red with my blood.

“Why are you bleeding and angry?” Pele/Chantico asked me when I finally reached the top.

“I’m not angry!” I said through clenched teeth. “I am so sick of having to cut my heart out every time we meet.” I wasn’t sure if I was referring to my ex or my Journeying, or both. “I’m tired, wrung out, bled to death, and empty.”

Pele/Chantico looked at me with such compassion in Her eyes that I nearly crumpled into a puddle of tears on the spot. She stretched out her arm, palm facing me and focused on my Crown Center. I closed my eyes and felt a golden sparkle dance through my skull and dissolve all the bleak tar energy that had filled me to despair. She imbued my whole being with the essence of Her energy.

I smiled to myself. Love, that wondrous gift, did indeed come from the most unexpected places.

The golden energy enlightened me, quite literally. As my colourlessness had previously enabled me to fly, this kindly gift lifted me off the top of the volcano and swept me into another Realm.

I landed on a ledge high up on the face of a single mountain. On one side a green fertile valley with cultivated fields and darker green patches of forest stretched to the horizon. On the other was an ocean, bright and sparkling in the glorious summer sunshine. Behind me eternal snow capped the top of the mountain.

It felt like home.

A cloak of feathers and other magical things fell around my shoulders. Soft and warm, it too felt like home.

I turned around, (it was always a struggle to turn around. Some times were easier than others. This time it went rather smoothly) and came face-to-face with a woman who had a cloak, identical to mine, on her shoulders.

She hugged me then said, “There’s a storm coming.”

I looked out to the horizon, expecting to see a thunderstorm brewing, but there was nary a cloud in sight. She turned me around and pointed down the face of the mountain.

A turgid, roiling, mass was clawing its way up toward us. Livid streaks of oppressive colour oozed through it like slow-motion lightning.

I watched in horror as an arm, a woman’s arm, struggled free of the morass only sink back below the surface. Then a leg. Elsewhere a head. A torso.

My senses were assailed by the most heart-rending emotions.

“What am I supposed to do with this?” I asked the woman, feeling like I might collapse under the weight of my broken heart.

“Let it go,” she said.

It was then I saw I had a rope in my hands, attached to that … that thing, that storm. I was holding it up.

 “Let it go,” she said, gently.

“But there are parts of me there. Parts of my relationship with her.”

“Let it go,” she said, implacably this time.

Slowly, so slowly, I opened my hands and the rope slid through my fingers. The storm, with all the body bits still sticking out of it, fell and shattered on the rocks at the foot of the mountain.

I didn’t think I’d ever feel clean again. I needed to get off that ledge.

I certainly wasn’t going to climb down through that slimy mess so I handed my cloak back to the feather woman, cleared my body of all colour and ran to the edge of the mountain.

I somersaulted through the air, twisting and turning this way and that. I laughed out loud for the sheer joy of flying and hovered a few meters out from the ledge.

There was a different woman standing there, tiny, hunched in on herself.

“Don’t go,” she called out in a scratchy hollow voice. “Don’t leave me behind. Please take me with you.”

My eyes filled with tears. “I can’t. This ending was your choice. Now you have to follow that path.”

I could see her judging the distance between us and I hastily backed up a few meters.

Her tearful face changed abruptly and she sneered at me until finally she turned and began to clamber down off the ledge, muttering under her breath all the while. I knew that as soon as she was out of sight she’d forget all about me.

My breath caught in the back of my throat as I breathed a huge sigh of relief. The feather woman wafted her cloak across the ledge, clearing away any residual energies.

As I landed next to her she passed me my cloak. I slipped it on and felt the feathers take hold.

“There is not much time left,” she said with the unflappable, yet focused demeanor that birds of prey exhibit just before they take flight to hunt their next meal.

“Time enough though.” I said kinda cheekily, as we spread our wings, together.

-oOo-

The only image I could find of Chantico on the public domain, via Wikipedia

The only image I could find of Chantico on the public domain, via Wikipedia

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Lost Days

I have an infected tooth and am taking antibiotics which both my dentist and I hope work so I don’t need any heavy duty dentistry. It takes me a day of so to adapt the them so today was a total loss as far as writing goes. (blog comments notwithstanding)

I was feeling a bit sorry for myself and started adding up the days each month I lose to various once-offs and on-going health stuff. It averages out to between five and six days a month … which really didn’t help my state of mind until I turned it around and realised that I had twenty four-ish days a month that weren’t ‘lost.’

I felt much better … then I bit down into a piece of toast and set my tooth, and gum, and half my face, to throbbing.

C’est La Vie … you win some, you lose some.

-oOo-

Later …

… I was walking through the laundry, which, among other laundry appliances and accoutrements, is where our chest freezer resides, on my way to the back door when I espied this, just casually kicking back on the top of the freezer …

Thing, from the Addams Family, in drag!

Thing, from the Addams Family, in drag!

You can see the resemblance, right?

… All in all, not a bad day, here on Widder Island.

 

 

DP2 – Return of the Burnt-Face Dude

Oh yeah!

The Regina-born ‘Merch-with-the-Mouth’ is among us once more!

If you know what I’m referring to, then enjoy. If you don’t, be warned, be very warned!

Prelude VII

(My six previous adventures into other Realms of Awareness  can be read in sequence on their own page, ‘Prelude’ just up there on the header, or you can catch up on individual stories over to the right in the ‘Topics’ section, under ‘Prelude’)

-oOo-

I didn’t plan this but it turns out that a major character in today’s episode/part/chapter (I’m going to have to pick one and stick with it) is connected to Spring Equinox, which is today!

I love serendipity.

Spring has been shy about revealing herself here on Widder Island so no flowers in our garden, but this image from the ‘clip art’ archives is a perfectly acceptable substitute

Spring has been shy about revealing herself here on Widder Island so no flowers in our garden, but this image from the ‘clip art’ archives is a perfectly acceptable substitute

-oOo-

When last we saw our intrepid hero, our Shaman-in-training, she was standing on the edge of … well, nothingness. (which I wasn’t happy about, at all)

Christmas was a big deal when I was a child, not because of the ‘Christmas Spirit’ (which I didn’t really ‘get’) but because I would receive, ordered all the way from England, a ‘Girls Own’ bumper album of stories, (which probably accounts for why Hermione Granger is one of my heroes – I was born in England and my family emigrated to Australia when I was two, and I think this was one of the ways my parents kept that connection alive for me) and a similar ‘bumper annual’ book of Rupert the Bear’s adventures.

All these stories had a satisfying beginning, middle, and end, and later as I sought out my own reading material (science fiction and fantasy mostly, although I did have a brief flirtation with regency romances in the 70’s) I required those three elements to be present.

Where were you when ‘The Empire Strikes Back’, premiered? I’d traveled all the way to Sydney (a two-hour train trip) and queued up for hours to be one of the first to see it.

Remember how it ended?

Han Solo, encased in carbonite, carried off to Jabba the Hutt to a fate worse than death. Luke Skywalker, with his new hand, in shock because of that ‘I am your father’ moment. Leia, discovering she’s connected to the Force, Chewbacca and Lando Calrissian leaving in the Millennium Falcon to search for Han.

As far as I was concerned, when the end-titles started rolling up the screen, we were still in the middle of the picture. (which was in fact the truth, but I had to wait several years to see the other half)

The end of my previous week’s Journey felt similarly unfinished. I’d obviously got a handle on the ‘basics’ (obvious to me, at least) and I was ready to go deeper.

It was time to meet the neighbours.

-oOo-

A breeze skimmed around the room even before I’d begun my Journey. It pulled me Between the Worlds, through the nothingness of the week before, and deposited me in the middle of a sun-drenched cobblestone boulevard, wide and inviting. The buildings on either side looked vaguely Romanesque, but with strange angles that created optical illusions where light and shadow met.

There were many women walking along the street, all heading in the same direction, so I joined the throng.

Some politely nodded, I was not known but felt welcomed none-the-less, and some, so set on their destination, walked a straight line that never deviated, looking neither right nor left.

Being a student of the female form divine, I noticed that some of my companions moved in ways that didn’t seem quite … human, let alone female-form-divine-ish.

What hubris, I chided myself, to think that humans were the only ones to do this Work. The more I looked the more I realised that beings, Spirit Walkers from all walks of life and species, strolled alongside me.

I beamed from ear to ear. This was so cool!

We arrived at our destination, a great Hall, essentially the boulevard roofed over, with corridors to museums, storehouses, and smaller meeting rooms, branching off from the main atrium.

Some of my companions headed down those halls but the majority of us milled around, ‘meeting and greeting’, then gradually settled into the wickedly comfortable seats facing a wide stage, most of which was hidden behind two huge burgundy coloured velvet curtains. I introduced myself to those seated around me and we chatted for a few moments until the room slowly darkened.

The curtains wafted back and forth as though someone had walked behind them and ruffled the air.

A voice spoke quietly but such was its power that everyone heard. “Are you ready?”

I glanced around at my companions, who were all doing the same thing.

Well, someone had to start things off. “Yes,” I said, not as confidently as perhaps I could have. A wave of assents followed, then quiet descended again.

We were asked the same question again and this time we responded immediately and with a touch more confidence.

“Very well,” the voice continued. “You who spoke first, come forth.”

It figured. I stood up.

A shaft of light, like a spotlight, surrounded me and suddenly hardened into a crystal shell which just as abruptly melted away, and I was somewhere else.

I stood in another hallway of the enormous Hall with a colonnade along one side that opened out onto a broad sun-dappled pergola, festooned with purple and white wisteria blooms. The delicious flowery aroma distracted me and it was a while before I noticed two women standing next to me.

They motioned me to join them as they walked, until we passed a shallow flight of steps with the swirling nothingness at the bottom.

The women informed me that to Walk Between the Worlds I must learn the process of true transformation into each of the Four Elements I’d already learned to manipulate. (with differing degrees of difficulty and success I might add)

“Rock, for example,” one of them said as we approached a giant boulder in the middle of the walkway. “You need to un-define the boundary between your body and the rock, to become rock, to know its essence, to be able to do this as easily and as smoothly as the breeze that caresses your skin.”

The other woman took my hand and pressed it against the rock. “Do it,’ she commanded. The touch of her hand ripped through me like a white hot fire, but not painful.

‘Painful’, was the furthest thing from what I felt at that moment.

She took her hand off mine and repeated her command with less intensity. I probably imagined the tiniest upward curve of her mouth as my hand sank into the rock and the rest of me followed.

I was surrounded by a fiery redness, churning and boiling, compressed by the weight of an entire planet until it could find a crack in the mantle through which to break out.

I ‘undefined’ my Self until there was no difference between me and the magma. I became mindless except for that singular purpose, to escape.

I forced myself through that crack, and shouldered aside the puny tectonic plates who dared to thwart my will.

Up, through the surface of the earth until suddenly, like uncoiling a tightly wound spring, I exploded out of the volcanic vent and high and wide into the sky. I screamed in agony as the cold air began to quench my passion.

Time passed, ages, eons.

Continents shifted. Seas rose around me and drained away with soporific regularity.

At last I became a solitary sentinel. My substance scoured by wind and water and sun until all that remained was obdurate stone.

Once in a millennium a tiny grain of sand blew loose from a crack in my substance and began its long fall. This tiny intimate part of myself was hustled by the wind until it reached the ground and was part of me no longer.

I became aware of my sense of my Self separating from my sense of ‘rockness’. Tears welled in my heart, weighted with the loss of that tiny grain of sand.

I slowly made my way through the stone to the top of the butte. The breeze from the beginning of my Journey had followed me here and whipped around as though inviting me to leap off this narrow pinnacle and trust my fate to its capricious nature.

Nope. Not gonna do that! Being in such a precarious location had brought me completely back to my senses.

I wiped the tears from my eyes and was about to retrace my path down through the butte when the way back snapped closed. That narrowed my choices, but there was one problem with that flying with the wind thing, I didn’t know how to fly.

Someone tapped my shoulder and I bloody near fell off my perch!

There she was, the woman who told me to ‘do it’, way back in another time and place, floating just off the precipice edge. She was wearing snug-fitting, dark coloured clothes.

“Do it,” she said as though expecting me to immediately comply.

I was tempted, but it’d already been a bit of an eventful trip. I was emotionally wrung out and in no fit state to step out onto nothing but a bit of wind, even if it was in the company of a rather attractive (even if I do say so myself) Guide.

I shook my head and waited to return from whence I came, for the Journey to end. (I was kind of looking forward to a bracing cuppa tea and a biscuit/cookie)

And waited …

… and didn’t return.

This was new.

I took a moment to catch my breath and do a bit of a Grounding, before whatever was going to happen next started happening.

The ‘dark woman’ hovered nearby, not quite smiling, but I could sense a gleam in her eye. A tiny shimmer in the air next to her caught my attention as it grew and grew until it manifested as a woman who was both old and young.

Her name was Oestra, Goddess of cycles; menstrual and lunar, relationships, Journeys, birth-life-age-death-rebirth, and from whom many of the most fun Easter (and Spring Equinox) traditions have descended.

“What do you want?” She asked in a voice filled with ferocious Power.

I glanced at the Dark Woman.

“Not what she wants,” Oestra said. I could’ve sworn she restrained the urge to roll her eyes. “What you want.”

What the hell. In for a penny, in for a pound, I say. I took a deep breath. “To fly.”

Because of course I wanted to fly. Who wouldn’t, given the chance? How often have we watched a bird in flight, from the soaring wingspan of a eagle to the tiniest hovering hummingbird, and felt awe, tinged with just a wee bit of envy?

The Dark Woman made to bump shoulders with Oestra, but probably thought better of it as Oestra glided toward me.

“You must give up all that anchors you to the ground.”

“All? Again? I just did that with …” Oestra quirked an eyebrow at me. “Right. All. Again.”

She immediately whipped out this honking great sword and sliced off a piece of me, from head to foot!

At least that’s what I thought she did until I looked closer. There was a silhouette of me laying on the rock, but it was in a primary colour rather than black. The part of me where she’d sliced was actually still attached and unharmed, but clear, like glass. I could see right through me.

Suddenly the pain of being cut open, albeit psychically, with a sword, hit me. I almost keeled over in agony.

She sliced again, the other side this time, and I screamed. Another silhouette in another primary colour lay on the rock.

Another slice. And another and another. It went on forever.

My mind turned to ice and was electrified by the pain at the same time. I shed more and more colour and became clearer and clearer until only small globes of colour, aligned with my Power Centers, were left deep within my body.

Fuck flying lessons. I was being tortured. The pain took me beyond my limits, beyond trust, beyond comprehension, beyond fear, beyond death.

My Guide, the Dark Woman, came toward me, and in that moment, that blessed moment, my suffering lifted. She reached into my body, and pulled out the coloured globes one by one, stacking them in a pyramid at my feet, until only one remained.

This one, tiny, red, battered, pulsing, heart, I had to take out myself.

I reached into my see-through chest with my colourless hands and removed it, and handed it to Oestra as my last sacrificial benison.

My feet left the ground.

I shot straight up into the stratosphere. This was what being a jet or a rocket must’ve felt like. I rushed up beyond the pull of the atmosphere. I hovered there for a moment and then came plunging back down as fast as I went up.

I screamed again, but this time in an exhilaration that was almost as painful in its extremity as the torture had been.

I leveled out and began to slipstream from side to side, soaring above fields and water, continents and alien landscapes, following the sun around whatever world this was, until I met up with Oestra and the Dark Woman, my Guide, again.

The flight was over. I was no longer colourless.

As I landed on the butte I staggered and almost fell off. The Dark Woman hauled me back and turned me toward Oestra who hugged my tight. I leaned into her endless compassion until I felt strong enough to return.

-oOo-

My relationship was in its last desperate death throes and I felt very alone in the world. I had friends but they couldn’t touch the hurt abandoned place in my heart, which ached for that deep touching that only a lover could bring.

Oestra understood, and by enfolding me in her arms, not only did she share my exhilaration about my flying, but she also eased that loneliness in my heart for a while.

I found love, acceptance, attending, when I Journeyed. Sometimes it came from the most unexpected places, and in the most unusual ways.

The 428th Quidditch World Cup

This year, 2018, will see yet another Quidditch World Cup played, (the tournament is held every four yearsbut where and when is being withheld from the Muggle world.

However, through means both devious and diverse, and with great danger to life and limb, I have managed to obtain via a well-placed informant within the Ministry of Magic, one J.K. Rowling, an account of the 2014 World Cup tournament’s thrilling final.

Click this link – The 427th Quidditch World Cup Final

Included is an in-depth look at the History of the Quidditch World Cup and qualifying matches of the 2014 season.

It is unknown whether the ‘release’ of these documents constitutes a breach of the International Statute of Wizarding Secrecy of 1692, or a relaxation of this draconian division between the Wizarding world and Muggledom.

The 'Quidditch Witch'

The ‘Quidditch Witch’

This the only known heilographic image of a Quidditch player, Circa 1828, by renowned Muggle inventor Joseph Nicéphore Niépce.

Breaking news:

As I was preparing this report, another Muggle agent provocateur forwarded me this fragment of video. Evidence perhaps, that this years Quidditch Cup may be held sometime around the middle of November.

Bon Voyage Stephen Hawking

Thank you for sharing your mind with us, for a lot longer than any of us expected. You will be missed.

The Season Of Snuffles Is Upon Us

That moment when you want to rip your face off and wring it out

That moment when you want to rip your face off and wring it out

Up until we moved here to Widder Island six years ago I never suffered from seasonal or pollen allergies.

Although we’re protected from the worst of the ‘eau de cow-poo’ fertilizer smells this time of the year, the same cannot be said of the airborne things that cause one to go ‘AaaaaaCHooooo’ in the middle of the night, morning, afternoon, evening, that is the by-product of swathes of farmland in the Fraser Valley.

This is another reason we’re planning on moving to the Interior as soon as we find our forever home.

Pseudoephedrine is a snuffler’s best friend at these times … unfortunately it’s also a toxic friend when it has overstayed its welcome.

And then, one day quite by accident I uncovered, not a cure, but a tasty remedy for the symptoms.

Licorish.

The good stuff, not the flavoured sugar kind … and therein lies the issue with eating even little nubs of the stuff all day – sugar, which is an ingredient, no matter what the quality. (as far as I know)

Never fear, Widders is here. (Lost In Space reference – the trailer for the re-boot looks … not terrible) I found a magnificent alternative in the spices isle of our local bulk health and organic food store – star anise!

I suppose it comes in a powdered form but in it’s un-smooshed state it looks like this …

Star anise – Naked and un-smooshed, baby!

Star anise – Naked and un-smooshed, baby!

First thing I did was make a big pot of star anise tea and added a bit to everything I drank.

Mrs Widds found the giant mouse tea-cosy in her favourite thrift store

Mrs Widds found the giant mouse tea-cosy in her favourite thrift store

It worked, but after a while everything tasted star anise-y.

Enter, my handy-dandy essential oil tea light diffuser.

Much better

Much better

I wouldn’t normally have used so many ‘stars’ but these were left over from the last pot I made and they still had some smell to them so I chucked them in the top added some water … three days later they’re still going strong.

The aroma isn’t too overwhelming, Mrs Widds hasn’t fainted dead away, and I …

I … Can … Breathe!

Of course, it’s not for everyone, but if you’re doing the sneezy two-step like I am, give it a try, see what happens.